To see the rest of the best, go here...where you can also see the latest John Loftus meltdown unfolding. Yep. Just remember when you read posts by Truth Be Told...there's an "April Fool" at the end we'll document more later.

From the Mailbag

The nuttiest email this round came in late, and smells of Platinum:

Interesting, but you made a few mistakes. Jesus Christ wasn't a Jew. If he was he was a pretty funny looking Jew. He had reddish blond hair and a blond beard. His ancestor King David had reddish hair. Jesus Christ was white, pure blooded; not Jewish, who are hybrids. Also, the roman catholic church is the biggest pagan cult in the world today. Pope Benedict is the head of this church, and he is a homosexual.

This email came from the Not So Subtle:

I have just read your ingenious apologia concerning Jephthah and his daughter. Since so much of the Bible neither says what it means nor means what it says, you will certainly never lack for subject matter to test your exegetical skills. I will now try to find on your site an article that will fully reconcile alleged discrepancies about the death of Judas. I am curious and I want to know.

Found it. The article about Judas' death. I was not disappointed. Exactly as I anticipated.

Other folks remain sadly out of date:

Hello again Bobby Turkel. Several months ago you replied to one of my submissions to your site by stating that if I persisted in bothering you with my atheistic, and therefore realistic, as opposed to magical observations, you would contact my server and have me shut down. As of this date I have detected no problems in this regard. Have you tried contacting god for assistance, or his boy JC? Surely they would help if you prayed to them; they always answer prayer, don't they. NO! Well, surprise, surprise.

Meanwhile, PC ignorance abounds elsewhere:

On your web page pertaining to the Sound Doctrine Church ( I encountered the following snippet:

"5/23/06 -- One of my favorite canards is the one about Luke 14:26, and it is on this one that SDC once again pulls out the hyper-fundamentalism:

Rather than letting Scripture define Scripture and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us into full understanding and obedience, we use Scripture to undermine Scripture. The end result is that, under the guise of "correct interpretation," the Word of God is robbed of its power and is rendered all but meaningless.

This is the sort of epistemology that may as well lead to Mormonism"

What the? If you didn't get the email, Mormons are as Christian as Two-Seed-In-The-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists or Brethren Church of Christ (Reformed Dunkers). You can find such a variety of doctrine, practice and scriptural exegesis in the splinters of "mainstream Christianity" as to make any distinction between people based on how they think the Savior looks, or where you seek inspiration, meaningless.

Mormons worship Christ, and Christ only. Not Joseph Smith, not Mary, not St. Sebastian, Gordon HInckley or Thomas Monson. Only Christ. Speaking of the church as a whole and not individually, Mormons rely wholly on His merits and His blood, considering themselves fools before God, and without illusion that any of their deeds, ordinances or performances can buy them a seat before the throne. These latter are only what James admonished, to shew their faith by their works.

In the coming day of grace, Christ will not ask those who stand before His bar, "Did you envision me as white, or black? Did you see me as One of three, or Three In One? Did you imagine me as a flying spaghetti monster or the face of Mary in a jar of peanut butter? Did you find My Word in the Bible only, or did you prove all things and hold fast to that which was good? Did you go to Church on Friday, Saturday or Sunday?" He, in His infinite wisdom, will ask us, "What did you do with My Word? Did you visit the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, mourn with those who mourn, strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees?" About religion, James said only that "pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." Mormons do this as well and/or as poorly as the collective members of any congregation, Christian or no.

My request therefore is to eschew using Mormons as the archetypical anti-Christ. It's not nice, and it's not true.

This also, from the John Spong Sucker's Society:

Dear Mr. Turkel,

I'm so sorry that you have yet to discern the difference between myth and reality. My heart felt wish is that eventually you will be able to grow and intellectualize the true meaning of the Bible's stories.

Hopefully, breaking the chains of religious dogma will allow you to see these beautiful myths for what they are and lead you to the true meaning of what Christ stands for.

Good luck

A Hit and Run next: Your web site is funny you can tell you do not know as much about the Bible as you think you need to read more.

Now this, from People Who Say It's Never Their Fault:

Why would an omniscient God inspire words to be written down by men that could be misinterpreted? The literal reading of much of the Old Testament is completely barbaric, horrible atrocities are to be committed in His name. Take Deuteronomy 13 for example (which your apologetics website seems to ignore). If a loved one tempts you to follow other gods you are to murder them, plain and simple. If there is a town that isn't Christian, with "wicked" men, then you are to completely destroy it and all its inhabitants. Jesus even seems to condone the burning of non-Christians in John 15: 5, 6. Now, those assumptions are from a literal Biblical reading, those verses were taken out of "context" to support the Inquisition. I would understand it if the literal readings were actually moral, and then these perverse religious leaders had to interpret a "metaphor" for killing otherwise peaceful people... but the Bible literally demands so much bloodshed. Honestly, what kind of a God is this who purposefully hides a good message behind a terrible one? You'd think with something as important as conveying your Holy doctrine, ideals, and morals to humankind would warrant a more careful, honest, and straightforward approach so as to not give the wrong message.

Here's another Hit and Run wacko:

Even if Christ existed and was not just a myth created by contemporary people he was just an ordinary human being not a god.It is relatively simple to recognize someone who ihas gods powers and knowledge.

For example two thousand years ago anybody predicting the inventiom of the telephone or television would have been a super natural being. If christ would have uttered the words" Two thousand years from now two people on the earth will be able to talk to each other even if they are thousands of miles apart". would indicate his superhuman knowledge. But Christ never stated anything that would indicate his superhuman knowledge about science , nature or technology. Many Christ miracles , exorcisms and healings described by the evangelists were quite common during life time of Christ time and claimed also by other magicians. He has never said anything special that was not known to people living around him at that time.

His existence could be a fact but his son of god claim was an extremely arogant claim that could have ended in his tragic death.

To asum up, we should assume that Christ's existence and life is a combination of possible historical facts and a lot of mythology combined together.

Finally, a reader offers this shain mail he got from a friend:


I'm pretty sure God's messenger would be able to spell "do not" and "you're" right, and spell out "you" and "your" all the way. It's only 2 extra letters.

The March 2009 Loftus Collection

As noted, Loftus really hit the wall this past few days as he fell for a most obvious April Fool's Day prank by myself and the founder of the Debunking Loftus blog. We'll be documenting that soon for a special mid-year Platinum presentation.

Even without that, though, Loftus won Gold in spades. One he wins for propping for his genius on Vic Reppert's blog. Another he wins for Simple Minded History of Christian Origins #32435:

The origin of the Christian cult started with an apocalyptic prophet who preached a doomsday message and gained a small following in Palestine. Jewish prophets like these were a dime a dozen and they had it easy given the harsh Roman rule.

After Jesus was crucified his followers had visionary dreamlike or ecstatic experiences which led them to believe Jesus was alive in a heavenly type existence. As time went on an empty tomb sequence was added to the story as well as other mythic elements, like a virgin birth a transfiguration, and so forth.

Their story was of a God who loved people so much that he sent his Son to atone for our sins in a culture where human, animal, and child sacrifice was acceptable to large segments of society. This story made sense and so evangelists and missionaries like Paul were able to reach the people of the whole Roman empire who themselves were superstitious to the core, since they believed in many gods and goddesses and had no evidence for them either. The best story had the best chance of success in those times.

Those of us who know the social world of the NT appreciate the comedy. He also wins for recommending Ehrman's new book Jesus, Interrupted. And again, for his performance at William Lane Craig's forum at

He has a comment that noms Platinum here:

stevegemma1973 said...

(quoting Loftus) "If anyone thinks this argument effectively deals with mine then he is probably a sophomore in college like Nick was when he wrote it (I presume, correct me if I'm wrong). *No sophomore could actually understand the relevant issues involved*."

What? Then why do you have a blurb from a college freshman/sophomore both on your website and on the back of your book?

Here's the review from which the quote by Chris Hallquist on the back of your book was pulled. Note the date: 2006.

Here's a link to Hallquist's website, which lists him as a senior in college this year:

And here's a link to your website, on which you quote from Hallquist -- then a freshman in college -- complimenting your book:


John, shouldn't you even try to respond to the undeniable evidence I've presented that proves your hypocrisy? If no college sophomore could understand the arguments in your book, then why include a blurb from one on the back of it? If no college sophomore could understand the arguments in your book, then why keep Hallquist's recommendation up on your blog?

His reply:

stevegemma, you just are not making any sense. Where did I ever make such a claim in the first place? Please learn to read. And even if a sophmore is typically not that knowledable there are indeed exceptions. Nick is not one of them. Hallq is one of them (and not just because he recommends my book you twit). Hallq himself is an author of two books (one published on the Internet Infidels and the other one ready to go). Nevertheless Hallq is now a senior in college and he still maintains what he wrote. In fact check back and I'm sure he will still think maintain what he wrote when he's a professor at a university. that's my prediction. Stay tuned.

Sheesh. That was easy.

You guys major on straw men and personal attacks. You are idiots. Grow up. No wonder I have no respect for you or the small minority of people who follow Holding over at TWeb, and no wonder I make a mockery of you people. You deserve it. All of you.

And yes, even more Gold comments:

Matthew I do not treat Christians badly. If I did there would be at least some evidence for this on my Blog at least some of the time. While you might find a few exceptions to this the rule is that I treat Christian people fairly respectfully, certainly much better than most skeptical Blogs.

Now take a look at this blog here for a minute and imagine that it's YOU they are writing about. Surely if you commented at all you would mock them, and I do. I spit in their faces, so to speak. This is the kind of treatment I received from Holding and company from the very beginning. I tried to be reasonable but with his policy of ridiculing unbelievers it was to no avail. That's the viewpoint he has toward us. We're ignorant, stupid, and deserve nothing but ridicule. I finally gave up trying to be resanable and started mocking them all. That's the only response they will ever get from me until they grow up and enter the adult world of a reasonable discussion.

Ahhhhhh. But I'm merely wasting my time writing this.

Loftus' crew took in some Gold, too. Harry McCall did a mocking "witness" to someone, trying to convict them on the assumption that they were a Christian, but they were not. Called down on this, he said:

As an atheist, I'm not a Christian either, but I can still witness to you.

Fact is, whether it's this preacher (Rev. Chris Daniels) who burned his own church, or thousands of other ordained ministers in the ministry today, many are atheists who still minister to people. (If one could pull a switch and kill all the Christian atheists pastors, we would a server shortage.)

So just why can't I witness the love of Jesus to your bitter heart since atheistic preachers do it all the time?

Finally, Loftus' Useful Idiot Deist Dan refutes the external attestation test for authorship of an ancient document:

All you have is some true believers saying some other true believers who knew some other true believers spoke with a few true believers that knew the original true believers who were illiterate superstitious morons. You got nothing more than catholics thinking they saw mary, you got nothing more than the president of graceland saying elvis appeared to him.
The Miscellaneous Atheist Collection

Steven Carr just keeps on winnin':

Almost a thousand people there?

Well it was a well-advertised event, and the USA is a populous nation.

Apparently, 500+ of the brethren met together and saw Jesus in the short interval between the empty tomb and Jesus ascending into the sky , on his way to Heaven.

I wonder what the advertising budget was for that meeting to geta crowd of 500+ Christians.

Must have been quite big....

It must have been pretty hush-hush, as I'm sure the Romans would have noticed if 500+ followers of a recently killed Messianic candidate started massing , just weeks after they had tried to crush such things. It is an absurd number.

Corruption, thy name is 'Biblical text'

Platinum nomination goes to James Randi for endorsing Rene Salm's Nazareth Myth; also, an award to Skippy the Skeptic for this:

Actually, a large percentage of the unfavorable reviews floating around out there trace back to a Theology Web user called J.P. Holding, aka Robert Turkel, aka the guy that runs that Tektonics apologetics website. He's not held in high regard even for an apologist, and a Google search for "Robert Turkel intellectual dishonesty" returns nearly 900 hits.

Yo lunch continues his campaign for Platinum n00b:

"In circumventing all of the BS Midrash, I shall now, single-handed, hammer another blow to the fatal spike in the coffin of Christianity!

Let us imagine what would have happended if man had been allowed to live forever in the Garden of Eden and allowed to be "fruitful and multiply."

Now imagine that soon after a few generations upon generations that they would have outgrown the Garden, left the place and would not have had to be thrown out by god at al--sin or no sin.

Eventually the entire earth woiuld have became so over-crowded that everyone would have been relegated to elbbow room only ,breathing foul air filled with carbonic and other noxious gases. These unbearable conditions would have lead to mental illness and mass hysteria. Under such a deplorable enviornment everyone would have been screaming out for the Lord to send them a "Saviour to kill them and out them out of their misery! Deliverance from a true Hell on Earth that would not have lasted anywhere near 6000 years!

So, there goes the need for a Jesus and his mission to "save" us all from the so-called religious invention "sin."

So, my dear Christian fellows, your assignment , should you decide to accept it, is to scurry off now to your closet and pray for a revelation from above for the perfect Midrash retort! I anxiously await what will be written on those sacred tablets!!!!!!!!"

Also, when yo lunch inserted questions about Adam and Eve into a thread about the Christ myth, and was asked why, since it was off topic, he replied:

Your point is well-taken. Fact is, Jesus is a result of the deeds of Adam and Eve. No Fall, No Jesus. However, if you prefer, your, or I, can post a new threat and discuss it there?

Jimbo (Brooks Trubee) is still playing the bigot card:

Ask yourself why it would be dying in the West and growing in the Third World. Education might be part of the explanation.

Pai Geacademe is also campaigning for TWeb noob:

It occurred to me while thinking about divine communication that MM isn't seeing the forest. As a rationalist, he must accept that God is a mysterious communicator, rarely (if ever) speaking with a resonant boom but through more mysterious and subtle means--like perhaps the cumulative lashings of a harmless skeptic. Through that sophisticated and nuanced lens, it would not stretch credulity that God has a lesson for MM and endeavored to deliver it through a medium he doesn't like.

TF is playing a trick. Consider how the anti-trinitarian challenges the trinitarian. He asks for absurdly specific mentions of that papist concept knowing full well "I am a truine God" isn't there. TF follows that example by asking for absurdly specific biblical references to Heaven and Hell being core tools of evangelism. Embedded in his challenge is the profane* insinuation that Jesus speaks as would a reporter of news.

TF draws the inference of triunity from a limited assortment of scriptures, just as Edwards drew, and Comfort draws, the inference that Heaven and Hell are Jesus-approved tools of outreach from the many references to metaphysical reward and punishment in the Bible--scriptures specifically purposed to arouse your survival drive. Comfort's no fool**; his approach is based on a very psychologically rich existential fear (of which all Christians experience to some degree).

As is eternal Skeptic:

Mr. Holding:

Dr. Avalos cleaned your clock. Just thought you would want to know. Bald assertions, ad hominems at the junior high school level and effusive use of emoticons do not a rebuttal make.

better luck next time.

Andrew Merritt over at the Flemming board has this intelligent theory:

Say I was thinking.Mabey there is evidance that god used the method of the Fred Flinstone technique to create man.After all it says in the bible,dabar(meaning to speek,as oppose to logo's meaning idea,conscept or word.)and god formed man from the red clay .perhaps using R.C.s private interpitation really meant Dabar yaba doo!

Gom Jabber, on why Ben Witherington III is not qualified to decide the historicity of the Gospel accounts:

You are actually... incorrect, again.

There is an adequate degree of agreement among the other experts in the subject in question. The person in question is not significantly biased. The area of expertise is a legitimate area or discipline. Argument is ad verecundiam if and only if the negation of a conjunction of above elements occurs.

Therefore the above is also true if we have a disjunction of negations. So for my assessment that appeal to the authority of Ben Witherington III is a logical falsity to be revoked the above statement must be false. And this is where you fail.

You see... You just made a logical error called a division fallacy. Good job. Your parents must have been very proud of your accomplishments at school.

yasic steps in for Gold:

The literacy rate of Rome, to the best of my knowledge, is not universally agreed upon by historians, however I do believe, though I certainly am not a historian and have nothing but my memory and a half hour google search to back up, that most rates are between 5-20% fully literate, and as much as 3 times the number for semi-literate.

However, lets just say that the literacy rate really was 5% as you claimed. Firstly you yourself claimed that 500 people saw Jesus with the whole resurrection shmeal. Note: actually, someone else said this. 5% of that would be 25 people. Then we have the families and close friends of the 500 people, at the very least 2000 more people, giving us 100 more literates to add to our list.

then we have that whole event when jesus feads a thousand (or was it 2000?) people with scraps of bread and fish, so another 100 people to add to our list. We can safely assume that at least 500 people saw jesus when he did the whole flipping of carts over at the temple in jerusalem. so 25 more literates... and the close friends and families of the people in this paragraph, at least 4000 more people. and hence 200 more literates.

This gives us a grand total of 450 literate people including some very angry government officials.

Now, if 450 literate people saw a dead person come back to life, or fead masses with air, you can certainly expect most of them to write about it. You can also expect people to respond to this, or write letters back inquireing more about this jesus fellow.

[x]Huffy[x] of the forums win for this statement:

I never understood Christianity. A religion that is essentially based on stories about an invisible man that made the universe and a magic zombie that could walk on water and got nailed to a cross.

Normative wins (with a Platinum nom) as one who thinks that Hypostasis is an ENGLISH word and that it was used first in the 1500's as a medical term.

Hooks collects as a newbie:

I am fully aware of how Evangelical teach something as absolute truth one day, and then later act as if this was not the case, then or now. But this one is tough to run from. After all, the word "eschatology" has a prefix that means "end" and is the stufy of end time theology. As such, anyone who believes the Bible has anything useful to say about event in the future is no differnt than someone who believes the stars can tell us about the futurean or Tarot cards, etc.

Simply put, history is replete with people who claimed to be able to predict the future with accuracy. Yet, none have succeeded in predicting the future with much accuracy. Indeed, it is shocking how bad we are at such predictions. We have trouble predicting tomorrow, which does not bode well for two thousand year old predictions. Ans "prophecy" is just another for "prediction" and "prophet" just another word for "fortune teller."

The Christian Collection

A nutter from Paltalk named angeleyes_251 for saying to a reader that, "Because I'm in Bible College, the devil's sucking money out of me."

The Excellence in Arrogance Award goes to one who sent me this:

I am a fellow Christian. I am an Elder in the church. Please take some advice an love your enemies. Exegesis has no value if don't learn from it. It can be nothing more then an excercise in futility if you parse the words yet learn nothing of their meaning.

A nomination for a pop Christian:

kabane, are you familiar with the revival ministries great awakening movement? they have been an instrument for saving over 300,000 souls for Christ. guess what?

they didn't use INTELLECTUALISM or EVIDENCE. they preached the hope of the gospel of Jesus with love and care. so, no offense, ur ways methods are useless. the true method is evangelism. explosive evangelism. I wonder how many of those conversions were permanent.

Kabane replied by citing Apollos, Paul's admonition to test everything, and the speeches of the apostles. "Pop" said:

forget about ur apostles. sure, i appreciate them and admire them, but the one whose ways we should follow is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. and that's what u fail to realize is that Christianity is all about Jesus, much more than it is about apostles. Jesus NEVER appealed to evidence. ur a CHRISTIAN but it seems that u aren't a diciple.

Kabane informed him that Jesus did not have to appeal to evidence for the resurrection, considering that he was the one being resurrected, and that the speeches of the apostles are scripture. Pop then decided to declare that the NT wasn't written in Greek:

Peter, John, Matthew, Mark, Paul, Timothy, James, Luke, and every other writer in the new testament was hebrew! they spoke ARAMAIC! so how are they going to write in a language they don't know? their personal accounts were written in aramaic (probably) before they were ever put together in Greek. genius.

Kabane informed him of the magic of being bilingual. When he again pointed out Paul's admonition to test everything, he began to butcher the Bible in an effort to save his skewed definition of faith:

we shouldn't be disciples of Paul, we should be disciples of Jesus. Jesus was perfect, Paul wasn't. Paul letters in my opinion are more about advise to Christ followers on how to live.

When told that he has essentially destroyed 50% of Christian doctrine by denying the authority of Paul, he declares:

now, you're trying to be a Christian the way Paul was, when we're supposed to be the way Jesus was. and your definition of faith is the most stupid thing that i have ever heard. no offense.

being a Christian because of the evidence, come on man, you can't seriously tell me that's not idiotic to the most extreme degree.

"Pop" noms for Platinum.

Then this, from an anonymous nut:

Most people fail to realize that God controls the world events around us. They also neglect the fact that in the beginning God proclaimed the end result of man and his world. Some ignorantly believe that we are living in the new testament and others have zealously spoken without knowledge, saying, how they wish they could have been in Bible days.

Oh, that they would understand that we are living in Bible days, and that these are the days that all the law and the prophets have spoken of! All one has to do is pick up a newspaper to see the pages of the Bible still being fulfilled. Every war and rumor of war, every earthquake and Aids case (plague) is simply another testimony of Bible prophecy.

The Bible teaches that God rules in the kingdom of men and that he sets up the kings of the earth (Daniel 4:17). Is this still true today or is the earth now running amuck? Are our leaders simply democratically voted into office or is the Lord still calling the shots? For the answer to these questions we will refer to the old testament, which is still being fulfilled today. The proof is in the news.

In the book of Daniel 2:31-45, a great statue is described, which represents the only four world ruling governments. These four kingdoms were to rule from Daniel's time to our generation. They are BABYLON, MEDO-PERSIA, THE GREEK EMPIRE, AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE, in this order. As of this day, we are still under the fourth kingdom, ROME.

As the Bible does, we too have saved the feet of the iron and clay for last. Although, the feet are attached to the legs of iron and are a part of that fourth kingdom (Rome), they represent a new world order today, 'The European Common Market.' This is actually a revival of the old Roman Empire, and each nation that joins must sign a treaty that is called the 'Treaties of Rome.' At the moment there are twelve nations in the Common Market but in it's final state there will only be ten because the statue has ten toes. However, this is some prophecy you can watch being fulfilled, Watch! Apparently Rome survived the fall of their own empire.

LambofElohim opines:

Holy Ghost V.S. Holy Spirit? They are the same thing aren't they? Well what if they are not? What if one is just that a GHOST and the other is only a figment of man's imaginations created by retranslating the word "Ghost" into "Spirit" bringing life to the dead out of ignorance to The Truth? A Spirit of pride, clouded by grace and mercy just to deceive man into believing they have "God's" or "Jesus Christ's" presence within them. A famous trick by YeHeVeH the deviLORD in the Old Testament of the bible. Neither one are the Spirit of God spoken of in Genesis 1:2.

A MySpace member has been playing too much Ape Escape 3:

so when the apocalypse (most likely in the form of a polar shift) comes the world will split into two one half will go towards its natural path of galactic evolution it will be free of reptilian control and revert back to the Garden the other half will break away from the morphogenic field of Source and remain in this present state of darknes, with its evolution only happening by the will of the people left there so it will remain in hell for the next cycle of 25,765 years with no external help from Source and the souls will be unable to reincarnate out until the end of that time period only if they have figured out that there is a ladder to climb...

Gold to another Anon Y. Muss, in a post regarding Nazis:

Actually, I wonder if they were evil at all.

Don't get me wrong, they've done horrible things that can't be justified. But if somebody does it out of his beliefs, honestly believing he's doing the right thing for a better world, is he evil? Misguided, yes, but I wouldn't call it evil.

Retired barber Joe Godlewski says he was inspired by television chefs who repeatedly recommended kosher salt in recipes...if this is not a hoax:

"I said, 'What the heck's the matter with Christian salt?'" Godlewski said, sipping a beer in the living room of his home in unincorporated Cresaptown, a western Maryland mountain community.

By next week, his trademarked Blessed Christians Salt will be available at, the Web site of Memphis, Tenn.-based seasonings manufacturer Ingredients Corporation of America.

It's sea salt that's been blessed by an Episcopal priest, ICA President Damon S. Arney said Wednesday. He said the company also hopes to market the salt through Christian bookstores and as a fundraising tool for religious groups.


Screwball to Youtube for removing James White's commentary on Sean Penn's statement against Christianity:

Screwball to Steve Mason, scholar who authored a book on Josephus and the New Testament, and formerly someone I had a certain amount of respect for, but now joins the ranks of scholars like Hector Avalos and Robert Eisenman, after writing me to protest that passages like these in my article at

If this is so, then Mason's ideas that Luke "knew some highlights of Josephus' story but did not recall or was not concerned with the details" [208 - an unfalsifiable explanation that rather conveniently "saves the theory in spite of the facts" by saying that Luke obviously knew Josephus, because they are so similar, but begs off obvious indications that Luke did not know Josephus, by making Luke's knowledge or expression imperfect!] falls to the wayside.

..."misrepresent" him as having a "single-minded" desire to prove a point with no concern for the truth.

Douglas del Tondo noms Platinum for a book award for Jesus' Words Only.

Rachel Elior, who teaches Jewish mysticism at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, claims that the Essenes were a fabrication by the 1st century A.D. Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus and that his faulty reporting was passed on as fact throughout the centuries....

James Charlesworth, director of the Dead Sea Scrolls project at Princeton Theological Seminary and an expert on Josephus, ... contends that at least eight scholars in antiquity refer to the Essenes. One proof of Essene authorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls, he says, is the large number of inkpots found by archaeologists at Qumran.

But Elior claims says these ancient historians, namely Philo and Pliny the Elder, either borrowed from each other or retailed second-hand stories as fact. "Pliny the Elder describes the Essenes as 'choosing the company of date palms' beside the Dead Sea. We know Pliny was a great reader, but he probably never visited Israel," she says.

Elior is braced for more criticism of her theory. "Usually my opponents have only read Josephus and the other classical references to the Essenes," she says. "They should read the Dead Sea Scrolls - all 39 volumes. The proof is there."

Award for the Nightline debate "Does Satan exist?"? They got one of the Emerging church pastors and the head of "hookers for Jesus" to debate Deepak Chopar and another believer in New Agey woo. Everyone can laugh at it. Physicists can facepalm every time Chopra misuses terms like "quantum " and "entropy" to explain his new agey woo. Theologians can facepalm when Chopra present's his new agey interpretations of "I and the father are one" and "Abide in me". Atheist can also chuckle at arguments like " I used to be a hooker and now I'm free so the devil is real".

Screwball for Seth McFarlane's Family Guy for assuming that Christians are anti-atheists, think that being atheist is worse than Hitler, anti-logic, anti-education, anti-knowledge and they are all Kirk Cameron fans and that they can be deconverted from stupid questions.